La Catrina Quartet

Leora Zeitlin

Award-winning Cuban composer Yalil Guerra will visit Las Cruces as part of this year’s “Warner Hutchison Contemporary Arts Festival” at NMSU next week. Guerra, who won a Latin Grammy in 2012 and has been nominated six times, will speak to students and the public on Monday, Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. about the business of music, and will have his third String Quartet performed at the Festival concert on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Leora Zeitlin

Music is a way “to achieve our dreams,” says violinist and conductor Simon Gollo, who came to Las Cruces to join La Catrina String Quartet and to teach at NMSU. As a native of Venezuela, Gollo has been part of the renowned “El Sistema,” which has trained 400,000 young musicians to the point that “the whole country is making music,” he says. Gollo wants to bring that same passion and sense of opportunity to students here, where, in addition to teaching, he is the new conductor of the NMSU Philharmonic Orchestra, the university’s student ensemble.

All-Latin American music concert by La Catrina Quartet

Dec 10, 2015
Leora Zeitlin

A concert with the Latin-Grammy Award winning La Catrina Quartet always includes something new, and tonight, the ensemble is offering not only a program entirely by Latin American composers but also its first foray into jazz. Violinist and founding member Daniel Vega-Albela came to KRWG to speak briefly with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the music, including some arrangements by La Catrina’s cellist, Jorge Espinoza.


A rarely-heard piece of music for string quartet and tuba by jazz composer and musician Manny Albam is on the program this Sunday in a concert performed by La Catrina Quartet and tuba professor James Shearer. The group has performed Albam’s “Quintet for Tuba and Strings” before, but wanted to perform it for an audience again in advance of recording it. Violinist Daniel Vega-Albela came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the concert, providing background on the Albam piece, as well as an early string trio by Beethoven and the famous String Quartet by Maurice Ravel.

Leora Zeitlin

Violinist Roberta Arruda lived in several countries in her youth, including Brazil, France, the US and Hungary, and at 21, toured ten other countries with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, playing with conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Now Arruda brings that international background to her life and work in New Mexico, where she is a member of La Catrina Quartet and where she has performed extensively as a soloist, in chamber ensembles and in orchestras.

La Catrina Quartet: From Haydn to the Day of the Dead

Oct 29, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Violinist Daniel Vega-Albela and violist Jorge Martinez-Rios named their string quartet “La Catrina” to give it an immediate Mexican association, and to draw on the iconic skeletal image’s message that life is fleeting. In this conversation with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, they talk about the quartet’s name and its association with the upcoming “Dia de los Muertos” holiday, and the music that they love to play, from Haydn to Mendelssohn to signature pieces by Mexican composers such as Emmanuel Arias y Luna, Eduardo Gamboa and Manuel Ponce.